dear annie

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I saw a Vivienne Westwood suit in her shop which is quite divine, but costs pounds 541 (it is a fitted wool jacket with three buttons and has a matching pencil skirt). I have the money to buy it (just) and I think it is fairly classic, but my mother says Vivienne Westwood is "wacky". She would prefer me to spend the money on a suit from Jigsaw or Marks & Spencer, which she says will stand the test of time.

Wendy Harris, Strand on the Green

n Jigsaw and M&S do excellent suits, but there is no way they can compare with one from Vivienne Westwood. The woman is a genius and her suits are classic, sexy, superbly made and cut, and an investment. Some of them are more extreme than others, granted, but choose well (and the one you describe sounds perfect, not too "wacky" at all). There are loads of boring suits on the market; stand out and fork out.

I have a mobile phone which I need near me at all times. My handbag is big and the phone always seems to drop to the bottom and it takes me ages to find it. Surely someone has come up with a stylish way to carry a mobile phone?

Poppy Outspan, Belgravia

n Why anyone other than a doctor would need a mobile phone is quite beyond me. But anyway, you have one and you'd like it to be near you and stylishly transported. You lucky girl, Poppy (by the way, is that your real surname?). Chanel, solver of style problems throughout the civilised world, has the answer. Its quilted leather mobile-phone holder, a natural progression from its water-bottle holder (for those style forays into the desert) was launched this autumn. It is the only way to stylishly carry a mobile phone. It costs pounds 560 and comes in red or black quilted leather with a leather and chain strap from Chanel, 26 Old Bond Street, W1, and 31 Sloane Street, SW1. Be quick, they are so popular they sell out almost as soon as they come in.

Where can I buy a corset for that "nipped in waist" look that is fashionable at present? The only ones I have seen are either silly prices or are advertised by dubious "specialist" shops.

Katie Wilson (Miss), Leicester

n Warners does a corset-style undergarment in its "Merry Widow" range, which is fitted and underwired, comes in black and cream and costs pounds 75; tel 01159 795796 for a stockist near you (they sell all over the country at department stores). If you want something more restraining and boned, then Fenwick does some fantastic ones - unfortunately only at its New Bond Street branch (I know there is a Fenwick in Leicester but I am told it does not stock them). They range in price from pounds 89-pounds 99 in brocade or satin, and look much more expensive than they are. Fenwick does mail order (tel 0171-629 9161) which may help you (you can get a refund if you return it unused). Mail order is not an ideal way to buy a corset, however, so if you do make it down to London, you must also visit Rigby & Peller (0171- 589 9293) which does some great basques that will nip in your waist and cost pounds 53-pounds 100. Otherwise, it's worth looking in second-hand shops near your home.

I have a horrible problem: my clothes have started getting tiny holes in them. I have put down so much moth repellent my wardrobe stinks. It's not only my knitwear they seem to be eating, but everything. What on earth can I do?

Bettina Miller, Coventry

n I don't think you have moths at all. From what you have told me I think you have woolly bears, aka carpet beetles. You do not even need a carpet to warrant a visit from these pests. The bad news is that they are incredibly difficult to get rid of. The good news is that at least you don't have rats or cockroaches. Woolly bears shed their skin when they become adults (that's what those brown papery cocoons you have been finding are) and the adults look like rolled-up bogies (they are very small creatures). They love dust and crevices. Please try doing the following. You will need to wash or dryclean all your clothes. Thoroughly vacuum your carpet, or if you have a wooden floor or lino, wash it with a solution of borax (household cleaner, available from Boots). Use borax to wash the insides of your drawers, cupboards, walls (everything - they hate borax). Then get about 10 spray-cans of Doom (again from Boots) and spray your carpet/ floor, inside cupboards, shelves, curtains, etc, paying special attention to corners and crevices. When you put your clothes back, put jumpers in zip- bags and cover any special clothes you have with plastic hanging bags. This will ensure that if you didn't get all of them at least you can limit the damage. This is a real nightmare problem to deal with, but there is no point being half-hearted about it. Good luck.

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